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Lancia Flavia, the story of this unique model

Lancia Flavia 1967
Lancia Flavia 1967

The Lancia Flavia was a medium-sized luxury car first launched at the Turin Motor Show in 1960 with a 1500 cc engine. By 1961, the model hit major European markets. Soon, the Cabriolet and Coupe versions joined the ranks.

The performance of the Lancia Flavia improved consistently for the next decade as the manufacturing company kept increasing the size of the engine until it reached its final mark of 2000 cc. The Lancia Flavia stayed in production until 1970. The car is quite famous in Italy and in several other parts of Europe and was one of the best sellers since its launch date.

Specifications of Lancia Flavia

Lancia Flavia Sport Zagato
This photo shows a Lancia Flavia Sport Zagato.

Developed towards the end of the 1950s by Professor Fessina the car was first introduced in the U.K. in 1961. Initially the car was only available as a four-door saloon with an aluminum boxer 1.5 L engine, front suspension with unequal length wishbones, front wheel drive, Dunlop disc brakes on all the wheels and other great features.

Soon, a two-door Coupe version entered the market. The sports version of the car had twin carburetors and it delivered around 100 hp. However, it was difficult to maintain. Over the years, the model evolved. The engine was bigger and the new units featured five speeds and mechanical injections. At the end of the 1960s, FIAT took over Lancia.

The New Lancia 2000

A new version of the Flavia model debuted in 1971. Indeed, it was the Lancia 2000. Some of the car’s main features include Girling disc brakes, stainless steel bumpers and, for the models that used fuel injection, a D-jetronic Analog Electrovalve system for fuel injection. Lancia manufactured this model until 1975.

The engineering of the car was so meticulous that it made the maintenance quite simple and easy. The only drawback was that spare parts were quite scarce and therefore pretty expensive.

When Motor magazine tested the 1500 cc car in 1961 it found its top speed to be 92.6 mph, with the car reaching 0 to 60 mph in just 18.6 seconds. The fuel consumption of the car was 30 miles per gallon. In Britain at the time the car cost 1,499 pounds plus 688 in taxes.

In 1967, the engine expanded to 1800 cc. Autocar tested the four-door version of the Flavia and recorded the top speed to be 103 mph, with the car reaching 0 to 60 mph in 15 seconds. The fuel consumption was recorded to be 30 miles per gallon. According to these statistics, the car had been placed behind BMW 1800 TI, its main rival at the time, as far as performance was concerned, however, in terms of fuel consumption the Flavia came out ahead. While the smoothness of the engine was quite good the car did not have much punch at low speeds.

According to the magazine the overall performance was both pleasing and deceptive as the smoothness of the ride often meant one didn’t realize how fast they were really going. Eventually the Lancia Flavia was priced out of the UK market, losing ground to BMW and other lower priced models.

Curious about Italian cars? Read our history of Italian cars here.

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